Thursday, December 31, 2009

Dropping the Ball

As the Ball Drops in Times Square I'll be . . .

Wishing You a Safe, Prosperous, and
Happy New Year

James C. Ritchie

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Friday, November 6, 2009

Art for the Holidays at Detroit Artists Market

November 6 - December 23, 2009

Look for my new series "Rolling Power - Homage to Charles Sheeler" at this year's Holiday Show at Detroit Artists Market.

Rolling Power No. 1

Rolling Power No. 3

Rolling Power No. 4

This DAM annual favorite offers original art from more than 100 local artists in a fun and festive market setting. With hundreds of artworks at every price point, Art For The Holidays helps you shop local, shop smart, and shop with style! DAM Members ("Individual" member level and up) get a 10% discount on purchases during Art For The Holidays.

DAM members receive a 10% discount during the Holiday Show.

Members' Preview is November 6, 2009, 5 – 6 p.m. with the Public Opening from 6 – 9 p.m. on the same day. Also join us for Noel Night on Saturday, December 5, 2009 from 5 p.m. – 9:30 p.m.

Detroit Artists Market is in the Detroit Cultural Center
3 blocks south of the Detroit Institute of Art at 4719 Woodward Ave. at Forest.

DAM is open Tuesday through Saturday 11 a.m. – 6 p.m.

NEW THIS YEAR - Sunday Hours in December!
December 6th, 13th, 20th - Noon-5pm

All shows and exhibitions are free and open to the public. Visit DAM online at

For information please call Detroit Artists Market at 313.832.8540 or via e-mail at Pin It Now!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Giant Economy Size

Sunday, October 18, 2009

A giant silo-sized can of New Era potato chips!

This barn's silo in Portland, Michigan was converted to a New Era can in 1950. Soon after, the nearby Interstate-96 opened in 1957 and siphoned off most of the traffic from the highway. The company declined to renew the two-year contract and painted the silo grey after its expiration.

Rain and snow eventually washed off the grey paint and the silo once again became the roadside munchie king (queen?). Around 2004 the owner's brother restored the potato chip can paint job and it looked brand new again. However, Michigan weather has not been kind and continues to "chip" away at the paint. Even so, it has to be the coolest looking silo anywhere. Pin It Now!

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Bert Farve

Misuse and abuse of the English language is one of my pet peeves. I cringe (and usually shout) in anger and frustration every time I hear "nuclear" pronounced "nuke-u-ler," and Brett Favre pronounced "FARVE." I did a Google search to find out why this occurs. I didn't get an explanation from "FARVE" himself, but I did find an article by a linguistics expert on (She has a BA in Journalism from Oakland University, and an MA in Linguistics from Wayne State University and lives in Beverly Hills, Michigan). The first part of Step 2 is what I've suspected all along:

How to Pronounce Brett Favre's Last Name
By laurapayne

Sportscasters and fans alike, when talking about Brett Favre, pronounce his last name as “Far –Ve.” But if you pause for a moment to look at the spelling of his last name, you will notice it does not seem to match up with the pronunciation. So how should his name be pronounced and is there a correct way?

Step 1
Understand that when people pronounce Favre as “Far –Ve,” it is a linguistic phenomenon called “metathesis.” Metathesis occurs when two neighboring sounds in a word switch places.

Metathesis occurs with many words in English and other languages. Some examples in English include "comfortable" pronounced as "comfterble," "spaghetti" pronounced as "pasghetti," and "asterisk" pronounced as "asteriks."

Step 2
Metathesis is a controversial linguistic phenomenon. Some linguists believe metathesis is primarily the result of speech errors and childrens’ talk, and is not a regular process. Other linguists believe metathesis can be a regularly occurring process of phonology that affects only a small number of words or forms in a particular language.

Step 3
If the phenomenon of metathesis is removed from the phonological equation, the name Favre should be pronounced “Fav-Re.”

For more word fun visit laurapayne's blog:


Another commonly mispronounced (if not metathesized) word is "kiln." The original and proper pronunciation is KILL, but the word has been mispronounced KILN for so long by so many that dictionaries now accept both pronunciations as correct, and "KILN" is often listed first and "KILL" as alternative.

I mention "kiln" in this discussion because of this bit of bio info about Brett Favre on his official web site :

* Given name Brett Lorenzo Favre
* Born in Gulfport, Miss.
* Grew up in Kiln, Miss. (pronounced KILL)

Funny that "Favre" is pronounced 'FARVE," yet they make a point about the correct pronunciation of the town, Kiln.

In the same vein, two other examples of mispronounced city names come to mind:

One would think New Madrid, Missouri is pronounced New "Ma-DRID" like the city in Spain, but locals insist it is New "MAD-rid."

One would also probably - and logically - think the pronunciation of Lake Orion, Michigan would be the same as the constellation, "Or-ION." But you'd be wrong again, as locals say "ORY-on."

(Are these examples of metathesis, or does another term exist to describe these colloquial mispronunciations?)

The English language is a lot of things, but dull isn't one of them!

OK, if F-A-V-R-E is pronounced "FARVE," then it is only reasonable to apply that "logic" to his entire name. So, from now on I'm pronouncing Brett Favre, "BERT FARVE".

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Friday, August 14, 2009

Dream Cruisin' Exhibition

Now through September 8, 2009

August in the Detroit area is traditionally full of automotive events, and this year is no exception. I'm proud to announce that my work has been included in Orchard Lake Framing & Gallery's annual Dream Cruisin' Art Exhibition for the second consecutive year.

The 4th annual exhibition, which honors the Woodward Dream Cruise, features the work of some of the country's most accomplished automotive artists. You've seen their work in newspapers, magazines and brochures. Perhaps you have a piece or two in your collection.

The photographs below are my tribute to the "Fin-tastic" designs of the Fifties and early Sixties. Each is mounted in a black mat and framed in a 2" wide stainless steel moulding, and available at the exhibition.
(Click images to enlarge in a new window.)

1957 Chevrolet BelAir

1959 Cadillac

1960 Cadillac

Visit my web site to see more of my Automobile Classics

The Dream Cruisin’ exhibition runs through September 8th at:
Orchard Lake Framing & Gallery
4301 Orchard Lake Road
between Lone Pine and Pontiac Trail)
West Bloomfield, Michigan 48323

Click for Google Map


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Thursday, August 6, 2009

Brighton Fine Arts Festival

Brighton, Michigan

Booth #29 on Main St. near Hyne St.

Saturday, August 8 - 10a - 6p
Sunday, August 9 - 10a - 5p

Present or mention this Blog Article and:
  • Pay NO SALES TAX on your purchase.
  • Receive a Free Gift with purchase of any framed work.

(Tax Discount & Gift Offer valid only for purchases of work by James C. Ritchie at the Brighton (Michigan) Fine Art Festival August 8-9, 2009.) Pin It Now!

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

30th Annual Art in the Park

Plymouth, Michigan
Friday 12-8
Saturday 10-7
Sunday 10-5

Booth #829 on Main Street facing Kellogg Park
near the corner of Ann Arbor Trail.

Present or mention this Blog Article and:

  • Pay NO SALES TAX on your purchase.
  • Receive a Free Gift with purchase of any framed work.

(Tax Discount & Gift Offer valid only for purchases of work by James C. Ritchie at Art in the Park, July 11-13, 2009.) Pin It Now!

Friday, June 26, 2009

Northville's Art in the Sun

Visit me (and about 100 other artists) at

Northville, Michigan.

June 27-28, 2009

Saturday 10-5, and Sunday 11-5.

Booth #61 on N. Center St.
near the Starting Gate Saloon.

Present or mention this Blog Article and:

  • Pay NO SALES TAX on your purchase.
  • Receive a Free Gift with purchase of any framed work.

(Tax Discount & Gift Offer valid only for purchases of work by James C. Ritchie at Art in the Sun, June 26-27, 2009.) Pin It Now!

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Tiger Stadium is "Long Gone"

DETROIT, Wednesday, June 24, 2009 -- The slow, grim, tortuous death of Detroit's historic Tiger Stadium is over. The point of no return came Monday afternoon, June 22nd, when the upper deck along the first base line became so weakened by the continuing demolition that it collapsed upon itself. All that remains is a dugout-to-dugout pile of rubble.

The Detroit Economic Growth Corp. has finally succeeded in preventing the Old Tiger Stadium Conservancy from saving the Navin Field portion of the beloved old ballpark. Another piece of Detroit's history and architectural heritage has been ruthlessly and needlessly pulverized into oblivion.

(I think the "D" in DEGC actually stands for Destroying or Defeating Economic Growth.)

Read about the Conservancy.

See the Conservancy's plans for the old ballpark.

Then read the Conservancy's statement about the ultimate destruction of Tiger Stadium.

Our beloved Tiger Stadium is gone, but it will never be forgotten, nor the crime of its demise forgiven.

(Click photos to enlarge in a new window.)

September 21, 1995

The Tigers' final home game of the 1995 season was also Lou Whitaker's final game ever before the home crowd. He would retire at the end of the season, thus ending arguably the best double-play duo in Tigers' history. No one knew if Alan Trammell would return in '96, so the crowd gave him a standing ovation as he came up for his last home at-bat of the season, which he humbly acknowledges. (As it turned out, Trammell did return the next year, making 1996 his final season as a player.)

Friday, September 24, 1999

"The Corner" glowed under the stadium lights for the last time as the Tigers played the Kansas City Royals in the final scheduled night game.

Monday, September 27, 1999

The last batter of the last inning of the last game ever played at Tiger Stadium.

Todd Jones' final pitch snapped into catcher Brad Ausmus' glove at 7:07 p.m. striking out the Kansas City Royals' Carlos Beltran for the final out of the final game at Tiger Stadium.

This is how broadcasting legend, Ernie Harwell, called the end of baseball at Michigan and Trumbull on WJR Radio:

"Tigers lead it 8-2. Two down in the ninth inning. Jones is ready. He delivers. Here's a swing and a miss, the game is over, and Tiger Stadium is no more."

August 11, 2008

The center and right field stands had been demolished.

Sunday, May 31, 2009

The plan was to preserve this "Navin Field" portion of the stadium from first base to third base.

Sunday, 21 June, 2009

View from center field (the flag pole was 440 ft. from home plate).
Destruction resumed after a TRO halting demolition was rescinded.

Monday, 22 June, 2009
On Monday afternoon the continuing demolition weakened the structure so severely that the upper deck along the first base line collapsed and fell in on itself.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Same center field vantage point about noon.

In a matter of days the rubble will be hauled away and Tiger Stadium will be, as Ernie Harwell called home runs, "Long Gone!" and Detroit will be scarred with another unwanted, unneeded, ugly, overgrown, vacant city block.

All photos above Copyright (C) 1995-2009 James C. Ritchie

Click below for Don Coles' aerial photos of the demolition
July 5, 2008 - October 18, 2009

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Tuesday, June 9, 2009

One day only

8th Annual Berkley Art Bash

Saturday, June 13, 2009
10 am - 6 pm

Visit my booth in front of the Berkley marquee:

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Saturday, May 23, 2009

Mount Clemens Art Fair

Mount Clemens, Michigan is my next stop on the art fair trail.

Drop by and visit Fri., Sat., Sun., June 5-6-7, 2009

Present or mention this Blog Article and:

* Pay NO SALES TAX on your purchase.

* Receive a Free Gift with purchase of any framed work.

Click for Google Map

(Tax Discount & Gift Offer valid only for purchases of work by James C. Ritchie at Mount Clemens Art Fair, June 4-5-6, 2009.) Pin It Now!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Fine Art at the Village

May 16-17
Saturday 10-8
Sunday Noon-6.

Visit me this weekend at Fine Art at the Village in Rochester Hills, Michigan at the NE corner of Walton Blvd / Adams Rd in the Village shopping center.

Click for GOOGLE MAP

Art Fair Map - Booth 35 in front of Yankee Candle.

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Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Catch the Spirit

It's officially Spring.
(Click on photos for larger view in a new window.)

The Detroit Red Wings started their 2009 "spring cleaning" with a 4-game sweep of the Columbus Bluejackets. Someone should put a broom in the Jolly Green Giant's hand!
The Red Wings -
  • Have the 3rd largest collection of NHL Championship banners at 11 (Montreal has 23, and Toronto 13).
  • Won back-to-back championships three times:
1935-36 / 1936-37
1953-54 / 1954-55
1996-97 / 1997-98
The way they're going so far, the prospects of an even dozen, and a 4th back-to-back look very good.

A tradition of dressing the Spirit of Detroit statue was born when the Red Wings won their 2nd straight Stanley Cup in 1998. Since then the Spirit has worn jerseys of the Red Wings in 2002, Detroit Pistons in 2004 & 2005, the Detroit Tigers in 2006 when they played in the World Series, and the WNBA Detroit Shock in 2006 & 2007. The Spirit's wardrobe has also included a tuxedo when the Three Tenors performed at Tiger Stadium in 1999, and a jersey in Detroit Lions blue with the number 40 when Detroit hosted Super Bowl XL at Ford Field.

During the 2008 Stanley Cup playoffs the Spirit was undergoing restoration in preparation for rededication on the 50th anniversary of its installation. Because the green giant was covered in scaffolding, the huge tiger at the ballpark was bestowed with a Red Wings jersey in its stead. It was a disappointment to some, but still completely appropriate because Mike Illitch owns both the Detroit Tigers and the Detroit Red Wings.
It is unclear if the Spirit will be allowed to show its "colors" this year should the Red Wings get to the Stanley Cup Finals -- Zachary Gorchow of The Detroit Free Press reported that the Detroit Red Wings will have to pay up if they want The Spirit of Detroit to don a Red Wings jersey this spring:

No Spartan Spirit.
The Detroit Free Press, April 3, 2009

"It appears the Spirit of Detroit statue outside City Hall will not wear a Michigan State jersey in honor of the Spartans' run to the Final Four hosted at Ford Field.
"After completing a major restoration of the statue last year, the Detroit-Wayne Joint Building Authority, which owns the Coleman A. Young Municipal Center, adopted a new policy requiring any entity wanting to place a jersey on the statue to pay $25,000 to cover the cost of refinishing the statue and any possible damage. Greg McDuffee, the authority's executive director, said having a jersey on the statue erodes its finish.

"The NCAA contacted building officials in January about placing a jersey on the statue, but declined after hearing the cost. And on Monday, after MSU beat Louisville to advance to the Final Four, a university official contacted the authority about placing a Spartan jersey on the Spirit, but also declined because of the cost.

"In the past, the Spirit has worn the jerseys of the Detroit Red Wings, Detroit Pistons and other Detroit-based teams when they have had playoff success. McDuffee said he didn't think that would change."
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Monday, April 27, 2009

Spring Into Summer

Get a jump on summer.
Come see me at the 41st Annual

Westacres Artist Market

Saturday, May 2, 200910 am - 5 pm

Present This Blog Article and
  • Pay NO SALES TAX on your purchase.
  • Receive a Free Gift with purchase of any framed work.


3700 Westacres Dr.
West Bloomfield MI 48234

Map to Westacres

(Tax Discount & Gift Offer valid only for purchases of work by
James C. Ritchie at Westacres Artist Market on May 2, 2009.)

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Thursday, April 23, 2009

Detroit Artists Market - All Media Exhibition

My entry was accepted and is included in this exhibition.


Roger Green

Roger Green holds a Ph.D. in art history from the University of Chicago. For many years he was art and architecture critic for Booth Newspapers, a chain of eight Michigan dailies. Currently he is teaching at the College for Creative Studies, besides contributing reviews and news stories to ArtNews, American Craft and Sculpture magazines.

Dale Alcocer, Alice Allhoff, Carl Angevine, John Azoni, Roman Baranyk, Matt Boonstra, Jennifer Bostek, Candace Brancik, Colleen Brown, Jeff Cancelosi, Sherie Charron, David Cole, Gerald Conway, Tobi Couture, William Ebersberger, Beatriz Farino-Gomez, Marnie Fender, Robert Fionda, Thomas Frank, Joe Fugate, Erika Fulk, Mary Ann Grauf, Bryant Hoffman, James J. Hughes, Bill Jackson, Frank Joyce, Sooney Kadouh, Dan Kestler, Eric Law, Robert Lezuch, William J. MacArthur, Thomas J. McDonough, Jerry Morton, Russ Orlando, Scott Owsley, Jeanne Poulet, Judi Richards, James C. Ritchie, Yvette Rock, Brandon Scott, Richard Skelton, Krysti Spence, Acquanetta M. Sproule, Julia Stephenson, Stephanie Sturton, Stephen Taucher, Ron Teachworth and Martin Vecchio.

Opening Reception
Friday, May 1, 2009
Public Reception: 6:00pm - 9:00pm

Friday, May 1, 2009 through Saturday, June 6, 2009
Gallery Hours: Tuesday-Saturday 11:00am-6:00pm

Detroit Artists Market is in the Detroit Cultural Center 3 blocks south of the Detroit Institute of Art at 4719 Woodward Ave. at Forest.

All shows and exhibitions are free and open to the public.
Visit Detroit Artists Market online.
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Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Lawrence Street Gallery exhibition

April 1 - 24, 2009

Lawrence Street Gallery
EXPOSURES: Photography '09

Opening Reception: Friday, April 3, 2009 6pm - 9pm
Awards Presentation 7:30pm

Lawrence Street Gallery's annual juried exhibition of photography is highly competitive and features all forms of original photography including black & white, color, digital, and alternative processes.

This year's juror is Marianne Letasi, former Detroit Institute of Arts staff photographer and the Rights and Reproduction Manager.

Here are my two entries:

1938 Packard Goddess of Speed

1947 Buick

22620 Woodward Ave.
Ferndale, MI 48220
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Thursday, March 19, 2009

1925 "Batmobile"

I saw this 1925 Rolls Royce at the 2006 Meadowbrook Concours d'Elegance in Rochester Hills, Michigan. My first reaction was: Wow! This body was YEARS ahead of its time. Such aerodynamic / streamline design didn't appear until the mid-1930s.

As is usually the case, I was searching the internet for something completely unrelated when I came across the history of this eye-popping treasure. The body was (obviously) not the original of 1925, but built by Jonckheere of Belgium and installed much later by a subsequent owner in 1934. In the 1950s the car was found in a New Jersey junkyard. It was acquired by the Petersen Automotive Museum (6060 Wilshire Blvd., Los Angeles) in 2001.

Read the entire tale here (it even has a Detroit connection).

It's things like this that make me really appreciate how special each and every Meadowbrook Concours is. Every year even a schlub like me can feast his eyes (and camera) on such rarities that are surely once-in-a-lifetime opportunities. Pin It Now!

Monday, March 9, 2009

Pending Copyright Legislation

Being an artist myself, I'm keenly aware of how much work all artists invest in their art and I adamantly believe no one has any right to use an artwork for any unauthorized purpose.

On April 24, 2008 legislation was introduced in both the U. S. Senate and House of Representatives, S. 2913 and H.R. 5889, respectively, the "Orphan Works Act of 2008" aka, the "Shawn Bentley Orphan Works Act."

I'm no expert on the subject, but my feeling about it is this:

According to current copyright law, any work of visual art is protected by copyright by virtue of its very creation:

Chapter 3, ss 302
Copyright in a work created on or after January 1, 1978, subsists from its creation and . . . endures for a term consisting of the life of the author and 70 years after the author's death.

Despite this seemingly "automatic" protection, artists would be wise to register their works with the Copyright Office to afford themselves the maximum protection and compensation under the law. Unregistered works are still protected, but compensatory damage awards will be greatly reduced, or more likely not awarded at all.

Supposedly this new law would, according to Register of Copyrights, Marybeth Peters, "allow good-faith users of copyrighted content to move forward in cases where they wish to license a use but cannot locate the copyright owner after a diligent search."

The premise of the legislation may be well-intended, but as the language exists, it seems to me, the burden falls squarely - and unfairly - upon the artist. There are far too many ways for infringement abuse to occur. What is to prevent someone from swiping an image of yours from your (or any) web site, or worse directly from your work itself without your knowledge. Just because an artist is unaware of an infringement doesn't give anyone license to steal a work.

The Senate Bill was passed by unanimous consent last fall. It was then sent to the House which failed to act upon it in the last Congress. Nevertheless, you can be sure it will be resurrected in the new Congress of 2009.

Please take the time to visit the links below to read about it and form your own opinion. After that, I implore you to contact your Representatives and let them know what you think about it.

Library of Congress H.R. 5889 - Exclusively devoted to this issue, the site is owned, written and maintained by attorney Joe Keeley, who has been involved in orphan works legislation since 2005. He was lead staffer on the orphan works issue responsible for drafting the language and arranging the hearings. This is a very informative site which offers no opinion, pro or con.

Americans for the Arts --
-- Update on 2008 Orphan Works legislation
-- ASMP FAQs about orphan works legislation

While you're thinking about copyrights, it would be a good idea to visit the U. S. Copyright Office web site and bring yourself up to date regarding copyright registration and protection. Lots of useful info there. For instance, did you know you can receive a discount for registering your work on line?

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Tuesday, February 17, 2009

March 6, 2009 "First Friday" Art Walk

The first Friday of each month downtown Northville comes alive to celebrate the arts. Northville's numerous art galleries and arts & crafts stores are open from 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm, and many of the art galleries feature a new artist each month with personal appearances by the artist. Other shops may have in-house demonstrations. All exhibits are free and open to the public.

My work will be featured during the month of March at
Starring "The Gallery" and it will my pleasure to meet you on the "First Friday," March 6, between 6:00 pm and 9:00 pm.

Starring The Gallery
118 W Main Street
Northville, Michigan 48167

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